A London company that sent a woman home for not wearing high heels has decided to change its policy.
Nicola Thorp, 27, was a temp worker hired at PwC, a finance company in London. She was told about the policy when she first arrived in December and refused, saying she didn’t own any heels and preferred to wear flats. She said the job entailed 9 hours of walking clients to meeting rooms throughout the building.
When the company still insisted, Thorp asked if the same policy applied to men at the company and was “laughed at.” She finally asked how wearing heels would make her better at her job.
“I said ‘if you can give me a reason as to why wearing flats would impair me to do my job today, then fair enough,’ but they couldn't,” Thorp told BBC Radio London.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
Officials sent her home without pay anyway.
Outsourcing firm Portico said it set the uniform rules for staff supplied to PwC but would now review guidelines.
Outrage over the incident sparked a petition to British Parliament that garnered nearly 100,000 signatures as of Thursday morning, which apparently convinced the company to change its policy.
“With immediate effect all our female colleagues can wear plain flat shoes,” the firm said.
The petition states:
“It’s still legal in the UK for a company to require female members of staff to wear high heels at work against their will. Dress code laws should be changed so that women have the option to wear flat formal shoes at work, if they wish. Current formal work dress codes are out-dated and sexist.”